Posts Tagged 'Julia Evans'

Article: Are you gathering competitive intelligence ethically?

As I suggested in my previous post (Article: Misrepresentation in CI: An Ethical Analysis) ethics in CI is a difficult subject. It is difficult to know where to draw the line between what can be tolerated and what absolutely cannot. Drawing this line is something each CI practitioner should do for him- or herself. Although this may be true, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any guidelines. In my previous post I discussed an article from Julia Evans, where I outlined several positions concerning these guidelines. In this follow-up post about ethics and CI I would like to discuss the perspective of Devin Liddell as outlined in his article: “Are you gathering competitive intelligence ethically?”.

Article: Misrepresentation in CI: An Ethical Analysis

Compass of IntegrityWhen practitioning Competitive Intelligence, you always balance on the line between what information is available, and what information isn’t, but can be made available. In the latter situation the question is at what price this information can be obtained. Does it involve a visit to the competitor’s showroom while portraying oneself as a customer? Or making employees of your competitor believe they are participating in a market research project while you’re collecting interesting information for your own benefit? When thinking about these situations, questions about ethics come forward. According to Julia Evans, the writer of the interesting paper ‘Misrepresentation in CI: An Ethical Analysis’, the most common ethical questions in CI concern misrepresentation:

Misrepresentation occurs whenever a CI practitioner lies or misleads a competitor about their identity in order to gain access to information.